Stanford's Cuffe runs herself to Pac-12 Athlete of the Year


Stanford senior Aisling Cuffe was named Pac-12 Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year this week, earning the award for the second time.

Cuffe now has swept all three of Pac-12 cross-country's top honors -- winning the individual championship race and earning the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, in addition to Athlete of the Year honors.

Cuffe also was among five Stanford runners -- men and women -- named to the All-Pac-12 teams. Cuffe and Sean McGorty, the Pac-12 men's runner-up, were first-team selections. Grant Fisher and Joe Rosa are on the men's second team and Vanessa Fraser is on the women's second team.

Cuffe is among six Cardinal runners to earn the honor, and it's the ninth time the honor has gone to Stanford overall. However, Cuffe captured the award in 2013 when she won the Pac-12 title. While the all-conference teams are based on place at the Pac-12 Championships, there is some subjectivity in choosing the Athlete of the Year.

Previous Stanford winners were Arianna Lambie from 2005-07, Sara Bei (2003), Alicia Craig (2002), Erin Sullivan (1999), and Louise Watson (1992).

Cuffe, a native of Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y., won the Pac-12 championship on Oct. 30, in Colfax, Wash.

McGorty was runner-up to Pac-12 Men's Athlete of the Year Edward Cheserek of Oregon in the conference meet. Rosa was eighth and Fisher 11th. In the women's race, Fraser was 12th. Only the top 14 are honored, with the top seven earning first-team honors.

In other running news, Stanford placed six runners on the Pac-12 All-Century teams for cross country, the conference announced this week.

The Cardinal women, who have won five NCAA titles and 15 Pac-10/Pac-12 championships, had five selections to the 12-runner list: Sara Bei '05, Alicia Craig '05, Lauren Fleshman '03, Regina Jacobs '86, and Arianna Lambie '07.

The Cardinal men, who have won four NCAA titles and 12 Pac-10/Pac-12 championships, had one – Ryan Hall '05 -- among 12 selections.

Oregon legend Steve Prefontaine and Arizona's Amy Skieresz, a four-time Pac-10 champ, were named Pac-12 Runners of the Century. Colorado's Mark Wetmore was named Coach of the Century.

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